ELLESMERE Port is still suffering heavily from thefts of and from vehicles.

Police say they are experiencing 20% more car offences in the town than they'd like.

Though divisional commander Superintendent Ian Hopkins did not release any official figures, he told Ellesmere Port Police Forum: 'It's not good news.

'It means a problem for us and one we're working to tackle with our community safety partners.

'The Port particularly suffers from attacks on vehicles older than 12 years old, which are being targeted by people to drive around in and then set fire to.'

Detective Inspector Mel Williams admitted there was 'room for improvement' with their vehicle crime figures.

He added: 'We are looking at crime trends and have had a number of good police operations in the Port in relation to car criminals.

'This will hopefully improve as officers are returning to us after being involved in other enquiries in the Division


Det Insp Williams told how three warrants executed in the town recently had led to a 17-year-old male being identified, and a large number of offences being admitted.

His colleague Chief Inspector Barry Travis said: 'We have also successfully arrested six people within two days in relation to vehicle crime.'

Supt Hopkins said car crime was 'mainly opportunistic' and drivers could do more to ensure their vehicles were safe.

He said: 'They can buy better car locks, park in well-lit areas, not leave property on show in the vehicles and tell us about any suspicious characters seen lurking about.'

If you see anyone suspicious people hanging around vehicles, or have information about car crime, call the police on 01244 350222 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.